Heart of a Lion
September 3, 2019

I miss Hagen.


I miss him but not in the way I think I probably should.  I miss the part of him that I always knew was there but rarely saw.  The part of him that I hoped would surface, stand firm and reclaim his life.  If the truth were known, I probably miss him the same way now that I have for so many years.


Seeing his face on the banners this weekend and telling total strangers about how and why he left this world made me miss him more.  I miss him more because I know in his absence, he’s now who I always knew he was but could never convince him to see.  Even he would catch glimpses of that Hagen from time to time.  Sometimes it made him work harder at pulling himself out.  Sometimes it made his darkness worse because of the disappointment he felt at not being THAT Hagen all of the time.


His nickname was Haggiebutt.  I can say that publicly now because he isn’t here to stop me. He loved to aggravate me, and in this way, I’m aggravating him.  Only a few of the females in his family (and his uncle when he was in a mood to tease) were allowed to call him that, and we did every chance we got. 


It’s Haggiebutt that we miss. 


He was mischievous, playful, caring, so loving, and had more compassion than almost anyone I’ve ever met.  I see a lot ofHaggiebutt in Weston and sometimes it feels like they are both in the room.


I was looking through pictures saved on my phone this afternoon and came across my absolute favorite picture of Hagen.  A sweet friend of his took it just a few months before he left us.  The look on his face is priceless and tells me he had either said something that he considered to be extremely clever or he had said something to get himself out of hot water. Either way he was pretty pleased with himself and the picture captures his personality beautifully.  It was Haggiebutt.  What is so precious about this picture isn’t just the smile on his face, it’s that it is the only one I have of his tattoo.


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